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Microbes Infect. 2003 Nov;5(14):1317-27.

Neutrophil granules and secretory vesicles in inflammation.

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  • 1The Granulocyte Research Laboratory, Department of Haematology, Rigshospitalet 4042, University of Copenhagen, 9 Blegdamsvej, DK-2100 Copenhagen OE, Denmark.


The neutrophil is a major effector cell of innate immunity. Exocytosis of granules and secretory vesicles plays a pivotal role in most neutrophil functions from early activation to the destruction of phagocytosed microorganisms. Neutrophil granules contain a multitude of antimicrobial and potentially cytotoxic substances that are delivered to the phagosome or to the exterior of the cell following degranulation. This review summarises current knowledge of granule biology and highlights the effects of neutrophil degranulation in the acute inflammatory response.

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